Credo Action

Tell Pres. Obama: Pardon Edward Snowden now.

Sign the petition

The petition to Pres. Obama reads:

“Use your presidential authority to pardon Edward Snowden, an American whistleblower who acted on the conviction that the public had a right and need to know about a global mass surveillance system that violates the Constitution.”

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    Tell Pres. Obama: Pardon Edward Snowden now.

    Edward Snowden is an American whistleblower whose brave actions exposed the global mass-surveillance system and set in motion the most important debate about government surveillance and civil liberties in decades.1

    Instead of rewarding Snowden for his heroic actions, the U.S. government threw the book at him with charges under the Espionage Act – essentially treating him as a spy and forcing him to seek asylum in Russia.

    Donald Trump has repeatedly called Snowden a traitor and ominously said “we should get him back and get him back now.”2 That’s why we’re joining the ACLU, Amnesty International and a broad coalition of civil liberties organizations in an emergency campaign urging Pres. Obama to pardon Snowden.

    Tell Pres. Obama: Stop the war on whistleblowers. Pardon Edward Snowden now.

    In 2013, then Booz Allen Hamilton Systems Administrator Edward Snowden gave documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald documents from the National Security Agency that provided concrete evidence of a terrifying global surveillance system that had grown enormously in scope since September 11, 2001. Since then, federal courts have confirmed that some of the surveillance activities Snowden disclosures brought to light were illegal.3

    Snowden’s revelations about the massive surveillance apparatus maintained by the NSA and foreign countries weren’t an act of espionage against the United States, they were a heroic public service that exposed flagrant violations of both the First and Fourth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. As Sen. Bernie Sanders said recently, “the information disclosed by Edward Snowden has allowed Congress and the American people to understand the degree to which the NSA has abused its authority and violated our constitutional rights."4

    Tell Pres. Obama: Stop the war on whistleblowers. Pardon Edward Snowden now.

    While Pres. Obama has been deeply critical of Snowden and so far deflected calls for a pardon, he also acknowledged in 2014 that the national debate on civil liberties and mass surveillance sparked by Snowden’s disclosures “will make us stronger.”5

    Pres. Obama has just a few weeks left in office. During that time, we need to make sure he sees a groundswell of grassroots support urging him to use his presidential authority under Article II, Section 2 of the U.S.Constitution to grant a pardon to Edward Snowden.

    Tell Pres. Obama: Stop the war on whistleblowers. Pardon Edward Snowden now.

    Thanks for everything you do.


    1. David Sanger and Charlie Savage, "Obama Is Urged to Sharply Curb N.S.A. Data Mining," The New York Times, Dec. 18, 2013.
    2. Hadas Gold, "Trump raises death penalty," POLITICO, July 1, 2013.
    3. Patrick Toomey and Noa Yachot, "Why Today’s Landmark Court Victory Against Mass Surveillance Matters," ACLU, May 7, 2015.
    4. Ed Pilkington, "Edward Snowden did this country a great service. Let him come home'," The Guardian, Sep. 14, 2016.
    5. Adam Gabbatt, "Obama acknowledges Edward Snowden disclosures in NSA reform speech," The Guardian, Jan. 17, 2014.